Monday, June 24, 2013

Edward Snowden's whereabouts unknown despite Wikileaks' claim of aid

Where is Edward Snowden? The famed leaker of NSA programs apparently wasn't on a Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Havana Monday, despite having booked a ticket on it. Despite this, whistleblower site Wikileaks claims it has or is aiding Snowden's flight to Ecuador, where he has requested asylum.

Wikileaks statement is, posted Sunday June 23, at 17:50 BST, says:
Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives in Ecuador his request will be formally processed.

Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:

"The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange -- for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest -- is an assault against the people".
Ecuador has not approved Snowden's request for asylum, as yet. However, the country previously approved Wikileaks' chief Julian Assange's request for asylum -- he is currently ensconced in the London Ecuadorian Embassy -- so it's widely believed they will approve Snowden's request.

Snowden leaked details of both the NSA's PRISM data snooping program and its phone program. When the stories were published by their respective news sites (Washington Post and The Guardian), Snowden was said to be in Hong Kong. He then reportedly traveled to Moscow, from where he was expected to take a flight to Cuba.

As he was not on that flight, it's currently unclear where he is, with perhaps only Wikileaks knowing for certain.

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